Energy Blast – April 21, 2008

Tim Osborne, a British solicitor and businessman challenging the Russian government over its break-up of Yukos, has blamed the Kremlin for restrictions on his foreign travel. Producers are struggling to meet oil demands. Russia closed down a reactor that had been producing weapons-grade plutonium for four decades, “marking a milestone in US nuclear nonproliferation efforts.” Russia is urging Serbia to finalize a “much criticized” key energy deal. Italian oil company Eni has announced that it is bidding for new oil development contracts in Iraq. Foreign oil majors operating in Russia are facing “turbulent times”. Shell has been warned by Iran that it must commit itself to developing a $10bn gas field in the country by June or risk the project being handed over to a rival. Unified Energy System is ready to delay the sale of electricity producer OGK-1 by up to two years if it cannot sell “above the market”. Meanwhile a lawsuit filed by Rosneft against UES is causing a rift between the two companies that Dmitry Medvedev is reportedly trying to heal.